To help residents keep local lakes clean, the Pike County Conservation District is hosting a free, three-part webinar series titled “How Your Backyard Activities Affect Your Lake.” The webinars include:
From Ashely Lenig, written by Janette Lesher Reprinted from 9/9/19 USDA NRCS PA Weekly News Flash
The Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Northumberland County Conservation District (NCCD) offices recently worked together to hold an outreach event in the Warrior Run Watershed as part of the newly selected National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) initiative.
The Warrior Run basin is a priority watershed of the USDA-NRCS and is targeted in the NWQI program. Agriculture is the dominant land use in the Warrior Run Watershed. Riparian buffer zones are nearly nonexistent in the agricultural lands. Livestock also have unlimited access to streambanks in parts of the watershed, resulting in streambank trampling and severe erosion. Producers in the watershed consist of English, Amish, and Mennonite farmers.
As our team began working on a Watershed Plan, we discovered there was a large sector of producers with whom we had not worked. We knew if we wanted to work with them, we needed to get to know them. It was decided to have an ice cream social – homemade, of course!
Recently, we met a landowner whose farm is located next to Warrior Run, so we knew that it was the place we needed to bring farmers together. After explaining our plan to him, he said: “Invite them, and they will come.” Without using any flyers or news releases, the farmer simply invited his neighbors over to his farm.
As we were preparing for this event— expecting 10-15 producers—the landowner told us we had to step up our game, because about 50 people had told him they would attend. Ryan Cherwinski, NCCD Ag Technician, did not disappoint anyone as there was plenty of delicious homemade ice cream to go around.
As NCCD and NRCS staff served ice cream, families sat by the stream. Gary Walters with DEP was gracious enough to demonstrate electro-shocking on the stream. As he began catching fish, the farmers lined up on the stream bank to see what was in the buckets. Clusters of producers started to gather around agency staff to learn about stream health, best management practices, and what we are trying to achieve in the Warrior Run Watershed. As the parents listened and asked questions, the children were able to get their feet wet and help with a macroinvertebrate kick in the stream. NCCD Watershed Specialist Chantel Shambach helped the children identify what they found.
Once the families got back on their bikes and rode home to their farms with a new appreciation of the watershed in which they lived, NRCS and NCCD staff packed up their supplies and left with 50 new friends and many contacts of farmers to visit in the next few weeks. Who would have ever thought that a meeting with no flyers, no PowerPoints, and no set agenda would be successful? Our team had some hesitations but is certainly thrilled with the outcome. We look forward to doing other similar events in the watershed again.
Many thanks to all those on the team who helped make this a successful event: NCCD Ag Technician – Ryan Cherwinski NCCD Watershed Specialist – Chantel Shambach DEP Water Quality Division Chief – Gary Walters NRCS Civil Engineering Technician – Pam Richardson NRCS Soil Conservationist – David McCoy NRCS District Conservationist – Janette Lesher
The PACD Spring Region Meetings are coming
soon! Please review the announcement for your region meeting using the link
below and be sure to RSVP to the host as directed.
will include the state budget and environmental stewardship fund, conservation district
week, third party reviewer legislation, a motion from the PACD Ways and Means
Committee concerning a potential dues increase, a PACD building update, and an
update to the PACD Directors Listserve.
Applications are now being accepted for the Agricultural
Conservation Technical Training (“Boot Camp” Basic level and Level
II). Conservation district staff are encouraged to take advantage of these
free, week-long training opportunities which include both classroom learning
and experience in the field.
If you do not receive confirmation from PACD, you will not be admitted. No walk-ins will be accepted. Both courses are held at the Keystone Conference Center, Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA (Lebanon County). Questions? Contact Shannon Wehinger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These training opportunities are made possible by the following sponsors: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, State Conservation Commission, and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc.
The 2019 Chesapeake Bay Program Conservation
District and PA Agency Staff Meeting will be held March 11, 2019, at the
Degenstein Theater at Susquehanna University, 514
University Ave, Selinsgrove, PA 17870. The target audience for this
meeting is staff from PA state agencies, USDA Natural Resources Conservation
Service, and conservation districts.
Topics include County WIP planning, PA
Department of Environmental Protection program updates, conservation district
project spotlights, the PA Ag Conservation Stewardship Program and more!
In the event of inclement weather, the event will be postponed to
the snow date (March 13, 2019). Registrants will be notified via email 24 hours
in advance if the meeting is postponed.
Click here for the full agenda and to register. The deadline to register is February 25.
This meeting is sponsored by the PA Department
of Environmental Protection with administrative assistance from PACD.
news coverage of sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement has left many
wondering what they can do to ensure that their organizations are prepared to
handle these kinds of issues when they arise.
addition to matters of legal compliance and liability, understanding how to
prevent workplace harassment and discrimination is important in maintaining a
respectful organizational culture that allows all team members to thrive
professionally. District organizational culture can affect staff recruitment,
retention, and team cohesiveness, as well as community and partner relations.
Effective policies are a crucial requirement for harassment-free workplaces,
but focusing on the board’s role in communicating and modeling respect and
appreciation for diversity is also vitally important for your district.
in the Workplace, our 2019 Building for Tomorrow Director Training Program,
features an interactive workshop facilitated by Mary Kay Williams of MindShift
program will include topics such as:
workplace diversity and inclusion issues
discrimination & harassment
policy & training authorization documents
to create awareness and lessen liability
conservation district directors and associate directors are encouraged to
attend. These sessions are free of charge and lunch will be provided.
click on one of the following links to register (all workshops are 10am – 3pm):
January 18 is the last day to pre-register for the PACD/SCC Winter Meeting. On-site registration will be available at the conference on a space-available basis, but why wait? Click here for more information or to register.
The 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show runs January
5–12, 2019 in Harrisburg and will honor agriculture’s rich heritage and
promising future with this year’s theme, Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story. Visit the
Conservation District booth (co-located with USDA Natural Resources
Conservation Service) in the GIANT Exposition Hall.
On December 18, 2018, PACD held a holiday open house at the new office location in Harrisburg. Over 25 people stopped by to tour the new office and share holiday cheer. Special thanks to our members and partners who stopped by to see us: Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell and External Affairs Director Katie Hetherington Cunfer; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Denise Coleman and Assistant State Conservationist for Partnerships Susan Marquart; State Conservation Commission’s Executive Secretary Karl Brown and Executive Assistant Barb Buckingham; Cumberland County Conservation District Manager Carl Goshorn; Berks County Conservation District Manager Dean Druckenmiller; and Dauphin County Conservation District Manager Eric Naguski.